Transferring a property requires a series of steps and actions and also requires the assistance of various professionals (i.e lawyer, notary, accountant, civil engineer etc.). These professionals will gather all the supporting documents and they will complete the relevant legal and technical control of the transferred property, thus fully securing the buyer.
The first thing that these professionals must do is the legal and technical control of the transferred property in order to identify possible legal and/or technical issues and resolve them before the transfer of the property. For this reason the assistance of a lawyer and a civil engineer is considered a must. The legal control pertains to the investigation of the acquisition titles of the property, the encumbrances, claims and any kind of obligations thereof and the resolution of any legal issue. The civil engineer’s control, pertains to the control of the topographic diagram of the property, the compliance of the buildings with the issued building permit and generally the compliance with urban planning regulations.
Following the above checks, the transferor undertakes the presentation of the supporting documents required for the transfer before the notary who draws up the transfer contract, followed by the payment of the transfer tax by the buyer and then the signing of the contract by the contracting parties. The transfer of ownership of the property to the new owner is completed by the transfer / registration of the purchase contract at the relevant mortgage office / cadastral office. A summary of the stages of the transfer process follows:
Primary control of the legal documents of the transferred property
This is the stage of legal and technical inspection during which the seller must assist the buyer (or his representative) with any document that will be required for the faster completion of the relevant checks before the relevant authorities. (mortgage office / cadastral office / Urban planning, etc.). If during the inspections, problems are identified, which need to be corrected before the transfer of the property and the seller/transferor is required to incur the costs for their restoration, he may raise the issue of engagement payment, which is agreed to be paid by the buyer with the simultaneous signing of a preliminary purchase agreement.
Notarial preliminary agreement (optional)
The preliminary agreement is drawn up by a notarized document, binds both parties to carry out the described transfer, the seller to transfer the property to the buyer, and the buyer to pay the agreed price to the seller. It includes all the conditions set as a condition for its completion; purchase and sale and the signing of the final contract. It depends either on a specific period of time, the passage of which activates the signing of the final contract or on the fulfillment of specific obligations or conditions on the part of the parties on a case-by-case basis. Among the rights provided to the parties, the buyer is basically given the right to demand the return of the paid engagement in duplicate in case of non-compliance with the agreements agreed by the seller, and the seller the right to withhold the engagement in case of withdrawal of the buyer. The notarial fee for the preparation of the preliminary agreement is (as a rule) undertaken by the buyer, since this is part of the total fee of the notary for the preparation of the transfer contract.
Obligations of Seller – Buyer
The seller is required to provide the notary, who will be indicated by the buyer, all the required documents to the buyer, in order to draw up the contract. Respectively, it is enough for the buyer to have a tax registration number and to present the full details of his identity to the notary as well as to pay the corresponding transfer tax to the local Tax Office. In case he / she does not appear in person at the time of drawing up the final transfer contract or the preliminary agreement, he / she is required to provide a relevant special power of attorney with a notarized power of attorney, to a specific trustee.
Signing the contract
When the notary confirms the submission of all the above documents and deems them correct and in accordance with applicable law, completes the transfer tax return, the submission of which by the buyer precedes the purchase. This declaration, which contains the details of the seller and the buyer, a description of the transferred property and the declared price of the intended transfer, is submitted by the buyer to the Tax Office of the property and the corresponding tax is paid by him/her within three days from the issuance of the relevant debt ID by the relevant Tax Office (after the lapse of three days the amount of tax is borne by the legal surcharges).
At the signing of the contract, and before the notary, the parties appear in person or through their appointed power of attorney, possibly lawyers of the parties, an interpreter in case of foreign citizens who do not speak Greek, and a real estate broker, if such person has mediated in the preparation of the relevant transfer.
Complete the transfer
After the signing of the contract, the buyer will arrange for the transfer / registration of an official copy of the signed contract to the relevant mortgage office / cadastral office and will receive the corresponding certificate (transfer / registration), at which time he becomes the full owner of the property.